Water Week

EWN Publishing

Independent management of Murray-Darling Basin in the national interest, said Turnbull

Posted by waterweek on 20 September 2007

The Water Bill 2007 was a quantum leap into the future compared to the current lowest common denominator approach to decision making on water management in the Murray-Darling Basin, said Environment and Water Resources Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the Federal Parliament on 14 August. One great step for Coalition control: “Through this bill, for the first time in the basin’s history, one basin-wide institution accountable to the government will be responsible for planning the basin’s water resources,” Turnbull said. “It will be expert and it will be independent. For the first time, the governance of the basin will reflect the hydrology of the basin — one interconnected system managed for the first time in our history in the national interest.”

First real shake-up since 1915: Turnbull said: “The Water Bill and the National Plan for Water Security will accelerate the 2004 National Water Initiative, which was signed by all Australian governments. The bill implements reform of governance in the Murray-Darling Basin through the establishment of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. This is an enormous step forward from the current governance model, which has remained largely unchanged since 1915 and requires the agreement of all basin jurisdictions before anything can be done.”
Reference: Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Federal Member for Wentworth, House of Representative, Commonwealth, 14 August 2007.

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